Hoover 38 - Boardman 7
September 22, 2007
Wackerly leads Viking explosion
Todd Porter, Canton Repository
BOARDMAN As the grand finale of homecoming fireworks exploded above his head, Jared Wackerly calmly walked off the field. All the North Canton Hoover High School quarterback did Friday night at Spartan Stadium was have the best game of his career.
Wackerly, after throwing for 360 yards and four touchdowns, looked like a pyrotechnician’s worst fear. His wick wasn’t lit.
His team, however, was.
The Vikings pasted Boardman, 38-7, and barely broke a sweat. Wackerly threw touchdown passes of 92, 25, 67 and 42 yards. He was hot, but he didn’t act like it.
”Coaches kept calling plays, and guys kept catching balls and making plays,” Wackerly said with all the excitement of a pacemaker.
”Nah, I’m all right. I’m just tired,” he said.
The first half of Friday’s game was a season highlight film. The Vikings took a 24-0 lead into the locker room.
”(Wackerly) got on a roll, and we couldn’t stop them,” Boardman coach D.J. Ogilvie said. “The kid was dynamite.”
No, that’s what the stadium sounded like when the game was over. Hoover rained on Boardman’s homecoming.
The Spartans entered the game with 11 consecutive quarters of shut-out defense. They’d allowed just 6 points in the last three games.
”We were shell-shocked…they just pounded us tonight,” Ogilvie said.
It wasn’t a one-man highlight reel. Wide receiver Matt Wakulchik was 6 yards shy of breaking Hoover’s single-game record for receiving yards. He had to settle for 194 yards and 18 of Hoover’s 38 points.
“Matt is a great player, and everybody knows how hard he works,” Wackerly said. “He’s worked to get to where he is.”
Wakulchik broke open at about the 50-yard line on a second-and-long play in the first quarter. Wackerly, near his end zone, hit him in stride for a 92-yard score that silenced a loud Spartan crowd.
“Jared has gotten better every week,” Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “He did a great job of getting us in the right plays tonight. … He took a step forward.”
Wackerly led the Vikings on an eight-play, 77-yard drive to take a 14-0 lead. He hit Wakulchik with a BB on a post route for a 25-yard TD.
On that drive, Wackerly completed all four passes for 79 yards.
Boardman countered with a drive to Hoover’s 26 late in the second quarter. But the Spartans fumbled a toss sweep, and Hoover’s Mike Kohler recovered at the Viking 33.
Then running back Erick Howard got in on the action, taking a screen pass 67 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead. Howard finished with 166 total yards.
He also picked off a pass near the end of the first half that led to a Hoover field goal. Wakulchik drilled a 32-yard field goal with no time on the clock.
Unfortunately for Boardman, it was only halftime.
Someone should have dumped a bucket of water on Wackerly. The senior turned the field at Spartan Stadium into a three-alarm fire. He completed 9-of-14 passes for 283 yards and three TD passes – in the first half. Wakulchik had 183 yards on six receptions.
“They were pretty good,” Ogilvie said.
The Vikings came out in the second half like FedEx. They did it by air and ground. Howard made it 31-0 when he scored from the 3.
Homecoming was officially ruined. The only thing left was a countdown until blastoff.
Wackerly and his Hoover teammates stayed firmly grounded.
“Lake,” Wackerly said, showing a hint of spark in his eye, “is gonna be tough.”